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FCC Rejects Station Plea of CDBS ‘Glitch’

Interesting reading for any applicant who has used the FCC's CDBS system to file.

Interesting reading for any applicant who has used the FCC’s CDBS system to file.

The Media Bureau said this week it will not award a South Carolina station a change of frequency and transmitter site move despite the station’s contention that the FCC database messed up.

The request came from Union-Carolina Broadcasting, which had applied during an AM auction filing window for a major modification for WBCU(AM) in Union, S.C. The owner wanted to change frequency from 1460 to 690 kHz and move its site to provide greater signal coverage.

The commission said the company did not file its complete form in a timely way. The company argued that it had indeed uploaded the complete Form 301 almost a day before the filing deadline but found out later that the FCC’s Consolidated Data Base System “did not recognize the application as having been timely filed.”

The FCC summarizes the arguments further:

“Specifically, Union states that its counsel is well acquainted with CDBS electronic filing and that, because ‘all other applications filed that evening were filed, received and processed by the FCC correctly, the only logical explanation that exists is that some unknown snafu occurred … that interfered with the Commission’s receipt of the application,'” it wrote.

The company told the FCC it should waive its filing deadline; but the FCC declined. “Union fails to provide any evidence that the commission was responsible for its failure to timely file its Form 301 application.” Further, the commission said, “There is no declaration from the individual responsible for filing the Form 301 application detailing the steps he or she took to assure proper filing.

“Significantly,” the Media Bureau continued, “Union provides no copy of the on-screen notice confirming that the Form 301 was successfully received for processing. In fact, a search of the CDBS filing database indicates that, while Union initiated the filing process for its Form 301 application, and completed validation checks, it did not complete the filing process.”

Because the company gave no evidence of the filing process it completed or showed that it received confirmation of successful filing, “we can only conclude that it was Union that was responsible for the failure to file its Form 301 application within the 60-day window … rather than some unspecified ‘glitch’ in CDBS.”